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coverpic flag US - Ohio - Full Moon 141 - 03/21/08

Baby Dee
Safe Inside The Day
Drag City

Transgender Baby Dee is from Cleveland and presents her third album with Safe Inside The Day, a fascinating look inside some circus sideshow. Vocalist, pianist and harpist Baby Dee (she's been working/playing with Current 93 and Antony and the Johnsons) has come up with a fine collection of songs for some sort of a minor breakthrough. Safe Inside The Day is produced by Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (a.k.a. Will Oldham) and Matt Sweeney (of Chavez, Skunk, and Zwan), who also contributes to most of the songs. Other players count former shock-rocker Andrew W.K., Max Moston (Antony and the Johnsons), Bill Breeze (Psychic TV), and John Contreras (Current 93), to name a few.

Baby Dee stands out as a crooning chanteuse performing some exotic mixture of cabaret styled music, touching rock ballads and animated music. Her voice is sometimes reminding me of both Bryan Ferry's and David Thomas', and the instrumentation could've been taken from a Tom Waits show. Parts of the music could've fitted Tim Burton films - his dark, animated stuff - quite well. "The Earlie King" is one of those, sounding like a part grim part child-friendly animated cartoon. The second half of the album (or side two as we say in vinyl) is by far the better, even though opener and title track "Safe Inside The Day" is one of the best songs, along with the closing beauty, the piano driven "You'll Find Your Footing". Among the 11 tracks there are 3 entertaining instrumentals, including the blissful "Flowers on the Tracks".

Safe Inside The Day is a swell album. If not fantastic it's, as mentioned, a fascinating one. With humour and sadness. Just like a circus freak-side-show is.

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